KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain and legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram has criticised ex-players who refused to apply for the national team’s head coach role through the channels set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Wasim was part of a panel appointed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to help shortlist candidates for a new head coach in the wake of Waqar Younis’ resignation following Pakistan’s early exit from the World T20.
Former Pakistan batsman Mohsin Khan, who briefly served as head coach in 2012, reportedly said he was not willing to be interviewed by a panel containing Wasim and another ex-national skipper Ramiz Raja, his ‘juniors’, and that he would send his application directly to the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan.
Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan fast bowler and ex-UAE coach, reportedly said he would not apply since he felt the panel was set on hiring a foreign coach.
While he did not mention their names, Akram seemed to allude to Mohsin and Aaqib when he made his comments to a local news channel. “What sort of attitude and mindset is this?” Wasim said.
“One former player said I will apply and talk directly to the chairman. When you have such a mindset how can one expect them to work well with the Pakistan team?” The job eventually went to Mickey Arthur, the former South Africa and Australia coach. Stuart Law, Andy Moles and Dean Jones were the other three names on the PCB’s shortlist.
Wasim said Arthur needed time to bring about a change in Pakistan’s fortunes.
“One should not expect him [Arthur] to bring about improvement immediately as our team is currently languishing at ninth position in the ODI rankings,” Wasim said. “Even he will require time to turn things around.”
Pakistan’s next major assignment is a tour of England in July, which will include four Tests, five ODIs and a T20I. Wasim predicted a tough tour, particularly for the batsmen. “Don’t expect them [England] to prepare flat pitches for our batsmen. The Duke ball will seam and swing on grassy pitches and it will be a real test for our batsmen to negotiate the ball,” Former pacer warned.
Wasim did not agree with the decision of the new selection panel, chaired by Inzamam-ul-Haq, to leave Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal out of the training camp for the England tour probables on disciplinary grounds.
“If we drop players on purely disciplinary grounds then let me tell you many of our era would not have even played for Pakistan including myself,” Wasim said. “I think if a player has a problem it is the job of the team management and captain to deal with it and get him to perform.”